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Masada

Masada

Andrea Bauer

A more formal Middle Eastern spot from the family behind Sultan's Market.

Our Review

From one of Sultan's Market's owners, this three-floor restaurant is a baroque fantasyland that rivals the flamboyance of Alhambra Palace on Randolph Street. There's a lovely outdoor patio and rooftop hung with arabesque lanterns and draped with snaking grapevines. There's a subterranean bar, disco, and stage. And there are some rare dishes on the menu—things you'd otherwise need to journey to Bridgeview for: parsley-and-garlic-stuffed broiled lamb spleen; sauteed lamb kidneys and hearts; the inverted chicken, vegetable, and rice casserole known as meklooba; and koshari, Egypt's national dish of lentils, rice, pasta, and chickpeas. There are all the expected mezes, salads, and kebabs, the latter also available stuffed into wraps for a more hands-on experience. Masada is at its most discouraging with its kebabs. Platters loaded with greenery, rice, and charred vegetables may look nice, but $19 for a single small ground-lamb-and-beef kefta kebab—or $23 for a handful of overcooked lamb nuggets—is galling. The only dish that comes close to satisfying a healthy meat tooth is a set of three grilled lamb chops. A large bowl of lentils and eggplant drizzled with pomegranate syrup is a utilitarian and filling bowl, if a homely one. Meanwhile, a few planks of breaded and crispy fried salt cod are degraded by way of a one-dimensional tomato sauce. These dishes simply underperform in the restaurant's environment of sensory overload. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, Amex, Discover

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